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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004

Educational use only; do not reuse.

121 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 121
Hads: 140
Avg: 4.23
pDev: 9.22%
Wants: 5
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Barleywine |  10.06% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 02-12-2004

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 121 | Hads: 140
Photo of RedDiamond
4.29/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The color is warm gold. It is clear though a swarm of yeast particles will emerge from bottle's bottom. The aroma is honeysuckle and dark fruit, complex, tropic, and soothing. Mouthfeel is brighter than I would have expected, but leaves a slightly gritty film on the teeth. This is a concern, but not a problem.

The taste is relaxed and unhurried, sweet but not overpowering. The taste is not nearly as complex or abundant as the smell and alcohol does not feature much part in it. I must admit I had higher expectations from Stone but this is still a mellow and refined barleywine that is easily appreciated.

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Photo of merlin48
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to mtnlover for bringing this bottle my way. I was duly impressed by the 03 vintage, but did not review it for reasons unkown. This Winter 04 Limited Release disembarks from the 22 oz bottle a chill hazed, auburn orange body with a sticky, one finger tall, vanilla hued head. Decent retention and some beautiful patchy lacing on the sides of the imperial pint glass.
Aroma begins with candied mandarin orange marmelade and lots of grapefruit, resinous pinecone, and earthy and grassy hops. Some caramel notes are hidden deep within this layer of fresh hoppiness and a hint of alcohol is picked up as well. Very robust bouquet barely falls short of being harsh with hops.
Mouthfeel is full bodied and chewy smooth, with an ideal level of medium carbonation.
The taste opens with lots of citrusy grapefruit and orangerind hops, and a "slap you in the face" pine resin. Caramel malt sweetness emerges from time to time to round off the edges. Alcohol is somehow disguised by the enormous waves of flavors and hops. Hop and malt flavors become even more pronounced at room temperature, and the finish is bittersweet, mandarin orange marmalade with fresh grapefruit rind, hops bitterness.
This is a truly excellent American Barleywine that needs no aging, though one has to speculate how exceptional this one will be with some time in the cellar. I've never encountered a Stone brew that wasn't topnotch, and the 2004 Old Guardian certainly raises the bar. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of Vancer
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Old bottle of well aged BW, yum. Clear and clean amber, frothy tan head. Juicy aroma of citrus and caramel, then a smooth classic BW quaff. Gooey caramel, but finishing with a nice dose of hop pop. More citrus bubblegum than in a “normal” BW.

A nice Sunday afternoon sipper, no hint of a double digit alcohol dragon lurking underneath. Quite a treat.

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Photo of arizcards
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Saw a bottle of this at AJ's and it was screaming "Try Me!"

This coppery colored brew poured a nice head that maintained throughout most of the glass that I had. This has the classic Stone smell along with conotations of elements that are sweet in nature. Taste starts off as classic Stone but then one gets hammered by the sweet malt finish. The guys at Stone did a very nice job of disguising the high alcohol content as this brew comes together very well. This brew gives your palate a workout as it is full and lively. Overall this is a very drinkable beer albeit a dangerous one as the ABV sneaks up on you.

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Photo of Floydster
3.3/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted this side by side with other Old Guardian vintages in taster glasses that were a couple ounces each at Stone Winter Storm for two dollars a piece

Color was a deep amber with a light red tint when held up to the light, small frothy 1/2 inch vanilla colored head, not much retention and a small amount of lacing, there were definitely a few things floating around at the bottom of the glass

Smell had lots of caramel to go along with some grapefruit and piney hops, tons of malt throughout the aroma, sweet boozy scents as well, some flower and resin aromas at times too

Taste was dominated by caramel, needed some more pine hoppiness to balance this out, also some dark fruit tastes like prunes and red apples, too much malt going on here, some grapefruit came to the surface as it warmed in my hand, still not enough hops, expected this one to be a lot more mellow after this long but it was still a little too strong for me, could use another three years of age probably, sweet malty barleywine overall

Body was pretty thick and syrupy, pretty smooth nevertheless, somewhat bitter mouthfeel which was impressive to see after three years, taste lasted a long time

Could not have drank too much of this, even though the ten percent alcohol is hidden well, it would have eventually hit me hard, taste is pretty dimensional, so the taste keeps you coming back for more, pretty heavy on the stomach though

Probably my least favorite year of OG, but still better than a lot of barleywines out there, I think I would prefer this beer with at least five years of age, still keeps the hop character up for that long and does not let the sweet malt overpower everything, still glad I tried it and am sorry I skipped the 2002 and 2003 bottles that were there but I would not have been able to review beers if I had kept drinking,

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.02/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this along side the 03. This beer was a nice tea color with 2 fingers of head that falls to cover over the beer. The nose is all about hops. The earthy hops are just all up in my face. I got a hint of a cherry in the nose too. The flavor follows the nose down a trail of hoppy intrigue where I found some good earthy and piney flavors. Yum. As expected, this was a thick, full-bodied beer. The drinkability is just a shade low on this one. I can see where another year or two will mellow out the hop and make it really good. Overall a very good beer. Thankd to brother Sheep again for this one.

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Photo of Overlord
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orangeish, vibrant colored pour. No real head (to be expected at this point. Surprisingly, retained some carbonation.

Taste of huge pine, grapefruit, and citrus. Some malt/sweetness, but surprisingly bitter for a beer of this style. Pleasant and enjoyable, but I wouldn't want this every day (and I won't be getting it that often, either).

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Photo of mcallister
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this draught last night at a tapping of the Old Gaurdian '04 and '06. Had them side by side. The '06 will be reviewed in the '06 listing.

Pours a light shade of a cloudy amber/brown. Very frothy head that dissipates rather quickly. Impressive lacing.

Nose of sweet malt and caramel. Very subdued hop aroma with some fig, clover, ant toffee in the background.

Wow once this beauty got to temp it you realize it was worth the 20 minutes of having too just smell and gaze at this beast. (Hmm beauty and the beast.) An explosion of malt, caramel, toffee, and baked hazlenuts. Good hop complexity albeit somewhat laid back.

Drinkability takes a slight hit because of the alcohol content. Started to get a bit intoxicated toward the end of this tasting (had a couple before it.)

What a well aged brew this was the vintage of choice by all. This brew can cellar many more years and not skip a beat but it's drinking so good right now why not try one.

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Photo of Crosling
3.93/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Stone's annual "different recipe" barley wine. I envy Stone, thinking of how much fun they have developing a different barley wine year after year.

I hate to reiterate but this beer is pretty light for the style and much lighter in color than last years version. The head: white and creamy and the lace: intricate in its falling. Quite the handsome beer for sure.

The nose is quite alcoholic but also quite tropical. Dripping juicy hops, caramel, melon and pineapple are all over the nose.

This tastes odd. It is quite tasty but this doesn't taste even close to any other barley wines I have had before. The so called "tropical notes" that I experienced in the nose appear old in the flavor and smashed with a hammer. Strong and very pleasant citrus notes in the mid-palate with mandarin oranges, caramel and lemons. The finish is long, quite alcoholic and very bitter.

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Photo of bditty187
3.08/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear, beautiful amber in hue with significant influences of tawny-copper and a bit of gold. Sporadic animation lazily dances towards the modest head. At the apex the foam reached one finger in height, the beige head quickly faded to a foamy cap. Subsequent lacing was thick but it clung poorly. The beer still looks mighty nice in my glass. The nose is malty, vaguely sweet, kind of caramely and the distinct piney qualities are obvious at the back. There is even some vague, nondescript fruitiness underneath, this is found from start to finish. The potency is moderate. However I am a bit surprised at the lack of depth and complexity in the nose. This is a barleywine, right? Don’t get me wrong I like the nose; it just doesn’t “wow” me. I found it inviting, to a point. The palate has the same qualities as the nose, just not in the same proportions. It is much more piney… it hasn’t grown on me yet. Behind the hops are some harsh alcohol notes, very raw and not pleasant. There is little malt depth, for a barleywine it is pathetic. It only offers suggestions of toasty caramel and slight sweetness. The malt fails to escape the shadows of the alcohol heat. Lousy. Frankly this is one of the thinnest tasting barleywines I’ve ever had. The finish is hot and fairly bitter but this bitterness needs malt support. There is none. The mouthfeel is thin too, smaller than medium, yet another flaw with this beer. Moderate but appropriate levels of carbonation. Is this beer drinkable? No. Do I like it? No. Will I bother finishing the bomber I bought in Fort Collins, CO? Maybe. Really, this is not that good. In a blind taste test I would have never guessed this was from Stone. Avery? Maybe. Leinenkugel? Sure. The bottom line is this; Old Guardian is a poorly crafted beer that doesn’t push any right buttons with me. I won’t look for this one again.

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Photo of lackenhauser
4.01/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Absolutely gorgeous deep orange color with a nice head that leaves some great lace on the top of the glass.Strong aroma-hops/malt.Nice bitterness-not as big as some US barleywines.Slight sweetness-toasted flavor,a trace of smoke.Alcohol burn in the backround.Definately shows its strength.Pleasant mouthfeel-the alcohol bite is there.Could be a tad fuller for my liking.Overall a great barleywine and another great beer from Stone-these guys are rapidly becoming my favorite brewery-how about a Maryland distributor?

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Photo of charlzm
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed Feb 7th, 2010 at Stone World Bistro.

Cloudy medium yellow with a fine white head.

Not especially aromatic, but there is a sugary maple syrup sort of note.

Still flavorful after all this time. Primary palate note is a sweet, maple syrup sort of character. Faint herbal traces. Significant bitterness on finish.

Still has some alcohol heat, interestingly enough. Mouthfeel unremarkable aside from a slight thickness.

Age has changed it but not really tamed it. Not really very tasty, though unflawed and quite drinkable.

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Photo of djaeon
4.48/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

a = Great hazy amber color. Thin head with average retension. Little lacing.

s = Very aromatic, slightly citrusy smell.

t = Tastes great. Lots of subtle citrus flavors. Still has a bit of an alcohol taste after aging for 4 years, but it's not overwhelming by any means.

m = Very smooth mouthfeel. Goes down with ease and makes you want to take another sip.

d = This one seems to be easier to drink if it's served on the cooler side. As it warms up, the alcohol taste come out a bit more.

I went to the Stone Brewery last night and they had a special tap of 2004 Old Guardian for growler fills. After aging for 4 years, I was very excited to try this one, and it doesn't dissapoint.

This is an excelent example of how a barleywine should taste, and how they get better with age. All the subtle citrus and spice flavors (orange zest, anise, etc.) are more evident when drinking this on the cooler side. It's very smooth with a bit of tangyness to it. As it warms up to room tempature, the alcohol flavor starts coming out more, and makes it a bit harder to drink.

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Photo of clvand0
3.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Again, this bottle was brought over by sheepnutz for a side-by-side comparison with the 2003 version. As he said, the color is much lighter than the '03, but still has a good amber color. Has a decent size head that leaves just a tiny bit of lacing. Aroma is alcohol and bread, and caramel, and pine and citrus hops. The flavor is much the same as the aroma: caramel, alcohol and a citrus character. Drinkability is good, but not for the faint of heart. Full body and nice mouthfeel. I enjoyed the 2003 version slightly more. This one possibly needs a little age. I also believe this one was the killer for my sobriety on said tasting night.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.27/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first STONE BWSA that I have ever tasted; big ole’ 36 degree chilled bomber poured into my Flying Fish tulip glass. This gargoyle lept from the 22 oz.er & poured out with a beauteous peach & orange sunset glow topped off with two finger sticky antique white shade head making little shapes as it oozes and sticks down the glass.

Shut-eyed inhalation of Old Guard 2004 introduces me to Barleywine aroma announcing mixed fruitiness and hops. No big surprise there. Mostly 'Del Monte Peaches in syrup fresh from a good can' sniffs meet spicy cinnamon characteristics.

The first telltale sip: Mixed chewy tropical fruit cornucopia. Now let’s break down this mingling of flavor. To be specific, there is a tangy presence of rich hops, ripe peaches, green melon and bubble gum. Wow! The 10.06% ABV is scary. Yikes! This whacks back like 7 & 8 percent. Before I replenish my glass with fresh Old Guard troops, I am letting this nectar warm to experience full flavor spectrum: Bananas, oily hops, more salt & pepper rise to the nose and palate. I can’t really say what other Barleys this harkens me to, flavor-wise. It is NOT SN Bigfoot or ANCHOR Old Fog; maybe a nod towards VICTORY Old Ho’ for hop notes.

The feel is a mild zing of acidic fizz and rather gentle yet present tiny carbonation bubbles. A heavily buttered Oatmeal bread, maybe banana bread or 7-Grain bread body finishes off the awl-kee-hawl dry aftertaste.

Scary, high Drinkability marks if served at proper temp and size. This is an all night sipper along side Scotch or Cognac any night IMHO. Give credit where credit is due. Wonder what previous years were like. ***Trade Alert***

Last swigs: Mixed fruit, notably peach & sweet melon, oily hop Barley Wine. Add a notch to my BWSA taster belt. Purchased as 4 x 3 22oz. sampler with IPA & A.B. for $51. Beer Bargain! Wait 6 & 12 months for updates from this BlitheringIdiot.

Beer is (strong and) good. Happy beering.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.47/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been waiting quite awhile to try this one....pours from the bomber a crystal clear amber with hints of red. A nice creamy, fluffy bubbly off white head arrives on top. Aromas of pine sap hoppiness mix with a big caramel, toffee maltiness. There's a nice fruity aroma in there as well. A delight for the nasal passages...just how I like my barleywines.

First sip is oh so smooth with a opening rush of creamy, fruity caramel sweet maltiness followed by a nice helping of piney resinous hoppiness...the hops are still alive and kicking after a little over a year of aging. Alcohol notes come in and out nicely. There's a bit of a scotch undercurrent here as well. I never had the chance to sample this fresh..but it's doing damn well after a year...incredibly smooth and tasty.

Mouthfeel has a nice, slightly syrupy body with a super smooth malt character that flows over the palate like silk. This is quite simply a wonderfully tasty, easily drinkable brew. Obviously not a session at a bit over 10% abv....but a bomber is no problem. Another great brew from Stone..I'm looking forward to a fresh 2005!

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Photo of alleykatking
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled this bottle out of the cellar. Consumed at DLD...review from notes.

A- Poured a light hazy amberish brown color. Half finger off white head comes and goes rather quickly. No lacing as I drink this beer down. Not much of a looker but it's old so I give it the benefit of the doubt.

S- Good strong caramel and toffee malts come through this. The alcohol doesn't burn the nose but is a lot mellow than fresh. Some light darker fruits in this but still a little mellow in the aroma department. Some sweet almost light maple in the ending of this beer makes it all come together.

T- The age of this did tame the beast I thought. It drinks very very smooth and doesn't have a lot of alcohol heat to it. Big caramel malts clash with faded hops and light darker fruits. A sweetness to this makes the beer gently pass through the palate with ease.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is a little flat but I think it's forgiven since it is a older beer. Sweet malts left on the palate with some light alcohol in the aftertaste. Light oxidation which I expected. Flavors blend together very smoothly without a stop and jerk motion with the flavor.

D- This beer was a pleasant surprise. The beer ages wonderfully and I expect this beer could have gone a couple more years before a decline in taste would be apparent. Drinking toward its prime I think. Damn you Stone...you make a good beer like usual!

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Photo of granger10
4.53/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a golden bronze orange color with a medium light tan head that rises and fades quickly. The aroma is really piney and sharp in hops along with some sweet fruit characteristics. The taste is better than the aroma here. The thick syruppy body holds a multitude of hops and malts and alcohols together amazingly. Intense, aggressive bitterness is held up by a strong but not really sweet maltiness. Floral and piney notes are prominent along with some deep dark fruits underneath. Alcohol is hidden really well and I can only really feel it on the way down. Amazingly drinkable. Obviously not sessionable but this goes down very nice for as strong and intense as this beer is. Excellent!

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Photo of mntlover
4.43/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful red color with small off white head that disappears quickly, very few stray bubbles rising. Aroma caramel, malt with light fruity hints and a citrusy, floral hop aroma. Tastes great malt sweet malt caramel with fruit flavors rising here and there along with a good hop flavor and bitter bite. Taste is smooth complex and enjoyable hard to believe its over 10% abv. Drinkability is great finished bomber no problem at all in less then hour wanting to open another I have hiding downstairs, must resist the temptation. Mouthfeel is little light compared to others I have had kind of strange but who really cares just makes it that much more drinkable. Think I will buy few more for safe keeping. Want to thank Stone for finally letting us in Tenn. try this great beer please let our Distributers have all your beers and I will be one happy man!

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Photo of aracauna
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An attractive, slightly hazed medium reddish amber body catches the light nicely so that it seems to glow a little. The head is reserved and fades relatively quickly. Raisins and dried apricots meld with firewood and creosote on the nose. The body is full and a bit cake-like. The bitterness isn’t overblown, but balances the sweetness of the beer nicely. Nice barleywine.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.97/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The body was pale golden to amber colored with some copper tones. The head was about an inch thick and was fed by medium carbonation from beneath. This is my first barley wine, so I could be wrong, but I was anticipating a darker colored and thicker brew. The aroma was floral, perfumey hops with medicinal alcohol. The first sips also revealed an insane level of hops. This comes across as flirting pretty close to being a double/imperial IPA. The underlying malts are really sweet, with notes of toffee, pear, bubble gum, and banana being quite pronounced, along with a fair bit of grain.

Being very young, this brew had a bit of a harsh mouthfeel with flavors flying rapidly past each other and having not quite melded together. The tender age also made the alcohol too much up front with a warm burning sensation detracting from drinkability, and making this quite difficult to quaff. As I finish the 22 oz bomber, this beer is kicking my ass. I like my beers to have a more subtle punch than this. I will be cellaring my second bottle at least for an year, for it to come together better. I can see that the ingredients for an exceptional brew are all in here; they just need some more time.

For those of you stuck in 6% ABV Georgia (for now at least), Liquid Solutions ships here, and that's how I got this one.

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Photo of Wildman
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This year's version of Stone's barleywine is more potent at 10%. It pours lighter than last year's though, a nice copper color forming a foamy off white head that vanished leaving lacticed lace on the sides. Very little visible carbonation, even with the nice head. An aroma of hops and malt that gets overpowered by the alcohol present. The taste was of hops and malt, but the alcohol once again seemed to cancel out other factors. A bitter finish to it. Not as good as last years, and seams more like an old ale. Is definately one that could use some cellaring to bring out some better qualities.

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Photo of taez555
4.75/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured an offwhite head with a clear orange/amber body.

HUGE, sharp, tight, citrus peel, black pepper hop smell. Some nice fruit tones as well as some caramel malt. Really an amazingly present and inviting nose.

The taste was medium to full bodied. A beautiful gingerbread spice taste. Surprisingly mellow bitterness at first. The bitterness is there but I was surprised how balanced it was. Rich pepper and citrus peel hop taste. A firm full malt with alcohol and caramel. Seriously very yummy. It ends with a soft lingering bitterness.

This is really one fantastic beer. Big, malty, hoppy and bitter. If you like those things, this is the beer for you. I swear stone doesn’t know how to make a bad beer.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.39/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stone Winter Storm

A: A dull cloudy tangering copperish color with almost no head. A fine ring of beige surrounds the glass adding an amusing contrast. Little agitation to the beer causes the bubbles to come forth from the depths.

S: Orange, toffee, grapefruit rind and raisin.

T: Begins with a healthy mix of caramel, cherry and bubblegum. There is a transition happening with the malt and sugars in this brew...Its in the beginning stages of converting to outrageous toffee flavors...but its not there yet. Marshmallow, apricot and mellon add a nice fruity component. Bitterness remains but its controlled and not too overpowering. Finishes sweet with honey, yellow fruit and a friendly kick of alcohol.

M: Full bodied with a syrupy mouthfeel.

D: This barleywine is getting close the perfect age IMO. Its could still use another 16 months or so to get it perfect. I'm certainly thankful to have had the opportunity to try this on tap.

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Photo of Foxman
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a glimmering clear copper with flecks of amber. Two fingers of off-white head swell then ebb quickly to islets of fine foam. Curlicues of lacing lie plastered to the side of the glass.

The aroma brings the dense air of toasted malt to the fore, accompanied by a note of toffee. A dry citrus aura partners with an almost minty floral perfume. The estery vapor of alcohol makes itself well known throughout.

In the flavor, a well-developed caramel malt character delivers a restrained sweetness. A mildly fruity strain of currants slips along the tongue, then is trailed into the middle ground by dry grapefruit and floral notes of hops. A gregarious, warming river of alcohol raises its voice well and loudly. A biscuity malt presence steps toward the exit, followed by a hoppy dry bitterness at the finish. It's big and thick, but the basic flavors wraps its beefy arms around you and warms the cockles of your heart.

Medium to heavy bodied, the palate is lubricated and coated by the full components that are in play. A dry hops glow rings the back of the mouth and fades slowly.

This beer is about big heaps of malt, a lot of hops, and has a warm, happy soul. The balance impresses because the elements are so dense and weighty. But as much of it as there is, there doesn't seem to be too much of anything. The ABV is as substantial as the rest of the beer, not only warming the gullet, but also plying its trade on one's head as well, so that certainly bears watching. Yet the flavor makes any reasonable quantity a truly worthwhile pleasure. Once again, Stone steps out larger than life in a big, good way. And another bottle is cellared for a chilly March evening a year from now.

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Stone Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale 2004 from Stone Brewing Co.
93 out of 100 based on 121 ratings.